By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Rick Bain PhotoLEGENDSGETSCREWED!
We learned a long time ago that if you need to ask TSOL's Jack Grisham something, it's best to just step back and let him speak. So we had some questions about the band's legal defense fund benefit show Saturday at the Brigg in Huntington Beach—what's up with that, Jack?
"It was November 2002, and we were playing the House of Blues in LA. I was backstage talking to this guy—he's 6-foot-8 and black; if you're doing a Jamaican drug lord film, he's your man—when this other guy, a totally drunk idiot, starts saying a bunch of racist comments. He kept looking at the black guy and going 'No offense, no offense,' and he played it cool and started to walk away when the drunk guy hits him with 'I guess you traded your gun in for a crack pipe, nigger,' and then hecomes back with 'Actually, no, I didn't,' and whips out this pistol and points it at him. I was getting ready to shield my face with a towel to protect me from the splatter. They both eventually left. Then, while we were playing, the black guy supposedly shows up onstage and starts shooting—we didn't even know what was going on. Apparently, he was going after the racist, but he shot the wrong guy—shot him through the mouth, and hit another guy in the shoulder.
"The shooter took off and got away. The two who got hit recovered, but the guy who got it in the shoulder sued us, because he said that since I knew about the gun, I should have done something, told somebody. He also sued the House of Blues, but really, he sued us because we happened to be playing there that night. We had a show scheduled for the next night, and we had to cancel that. Then we got banned from a couple of other places because of what happened, and we heard that club owners were starting to say that wewere racist and inciting violence. We had to defend ourselves, so we hired a lawyer. The guy was saying stuff like he lost the use of his Porsche because he could no longer shift gears. We eventually settled out of court, but we got stuck with a $20,000 legal bill, which was tough, because we're all working guys in the band, we all have day jobs. We haven't really been able to tour since the end of the suit. It just got to a point where, just like in the old days, wherever we would go, there would be a problem—only the problem wasn't us anymore.
"To help out, a fan suggested we put a PayPal thing on our website, and people have been donating. Little kids have given us two bucks, five bucks—there have been so many people who've been nice to us, really respectful and cool. Then Cherokee Parks, who owns the Brigg, told us that he'd give us a donation every time he sells a Pabst Blue Ribbon, but then he asked if we'd mind doing a show for our benefit. We still owe about $20,000, but at least it's looking more manageable."
To show their gratitude, anyone who donates to TSOL's legal defense fund at www.truesoundsofliberty.com will get a copy of the band's LiveattheHouseofBluesCD—which ends with the sound of gunfire. For a band whose catalog includes the corpse-fuckingly-fantastic tune "Code Blue," it seems twistingly apropos.
Cherished Anaheim all-ages club Chain Reaction is about as far from corporate as you can get—the dense graffiti on the walls is all the evidence you need of this (well, that and the conspicuous absence of valet parking). So how in the world did an untrue blurb about the club being owned by the Clear Channel media behemoth make it into the July/August issue of Fadermagazine? "Clear Channel just bought the Chain Reaction in Anaheim, so that's kind of fucked up" was the completely false line, stuffed inside an article that's largely about LA room the Smell. While Clear Channel does own music venues in many cities (including the Wiltern and the Avalon in LA), Chain Reaction isn't one of them. Informed of this by Avenged Sevenfold manager Larry Jacobson, Faderis now running a correction on its website:
"When it comes to rumor spreading and gossip mongering, sometimes punk rock is worse than sewing circles, so we regret to say we helped pass on some misinformation in our article about the Smell and the Los Angeles music scene in our current issue. Despite what we heard numerous times during the reporting of said article, the all-ages club Chain Reaction in Anaheim has not been bought by Clear Channel. We repeat, Chain Reaction has not been bought by Clear Channel."
Hmmm . . . "despite what we heard numerous times"? From whom? Stupid, pissy emo kids, we're guessing.
"I think the confusion stems from the fact that I'm dating a girl who works at a division of Clear Channel," surmises Chain talent buyer/manager Jon Halperin. "I don't know if someone was trying to damage our reputation, but people do like to gossip." Halperin also says that the rumor nearly caused some Clear Channel-hating bands to cancel their bookings at the club until the truth could be ironed out.
"That's all we need is for people to think we're owned by this huge corporation, after all these years of doing everything ourselves," Halperin says. "We all work day jobs to make it happen. Faderjust never bothered to check their facts."